Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Lighting Up Learning

Jaye Richards from Cathkin High has now published her research project which looks at Glow and learning and teaching. It can be found here

http://www.gtcs.org.uk/Research_/TeacherResearcherProgramme/TeacherResearcherReports/will_the_lights_stay_on.asp

Here is the GTC summary ”

Summary

Despite huge investment in school ICT over recent years, there have been relatively few, if any, reports of the substantial transformation of teaching and learning expected by governments as a result of this funding. GLOW, the Scottish School’s Digital Network is the latest of these costly initiatives.

This research study tracked four S3 classes working through the same modules as part of the standard grade Biology course. Results were tested using summative instruments of assessment comprising topic-specific questions from past standard grade Biology papers, and an end of year exam. One class, after two modules taught without it, studied one module using ICT timetabled for one of three lessons each week over one school term, with a mixture of independent and collaborative learning tasks reinforcing the learning objectives for that week, delivered using the GLOW virtual learning environment.

Results for this class with the same pupils and the same teacher showed a mean increase of 32.27% for the GLOW vs. non-GLOW modules. The attainment of this class on the non-GLOW modules was consistent and significantly below the best of the four classes. However, on the GLOW module, it was better by 14.69% than the mean of the other three classes. Further examination of the results showed that the weaker students benefited at least as much as their more able classmates.

The report discusses the challenges of embedding ICT into subject curricula and makes suggestions for a model of good practice. This use of ICT could facilitate a partial move away from a predominantly subject based focus in teaching to the more applied approach as advocated by a Curriculum for Excellence.”

Have a look at John Connells blog to read his comments on Jaye’s report http://www.johnconnell.co.uk/blog/?p=932. He says it much better than I could!

Caroline Gibson who has taken up a secondment as a Glow mentor in SLC has just returned from a LECT visit in Malawi. Her blog is worth looking at to find out how this went

http://carolinegibson.wordpress.com/

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August 17, 2008 Posted by | glow, learning | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colour Coding

Jaye Richards was sharing the results from her Glow work with her S3 biology class with me, and the resulting attainment rise is extremely impressive. Seeing her collation of results etc just confirms the importance of this kind of careful reflection on impact. We need to be doing much more of this within our classrooms to ensure we get off the hamster wheel of development for development sake and ensure that we use our resources for improvements which are carefully considered. I noticed she was discussing how innovation fatigue can set in within schools and I think its really important that the kind of work she has been doing is seen as a model which others can try, albeit perhaps on a smaller scale – practice where practitioners are focused on the improvement they are trying to achieve and carefully considering whether or not there has been an impact. I’ve been pestering various people with her results because I feel something as significant and well researched as this should be looked at seriously. The next question to ask is – is it the ICT and GLOW which is making the difference here or the one I suspect is more likely… is it the methodologies she is trying out as she teaches because the tools she is using are helping her try innovative teaching?  The other thing in amongst this is the amount of time Jaye is spending networking, researching etc via online communities and how much impact that is having on her practice in the classroom.

Meanwhile out in the nurseries I had a ball in Westburn Nursery the other day where they had made an indoor beach (just glad I wasn’t having to clean up later), it was great fun for the children. The whole nursery was looking vibrant and interesting – I had to go to the toilet for hankies as I get very sniffly when things are going so well!

At Loch Primary today I was really impressed in a QIO quality kind of way! The Head has set up a new colour coded filing system with the HGIOS colours and QIs for evidence gathering for HMIe. I took a picture but saw the look of horror on her face as I snapped away.It may be odd that I could be so excited by her new filing system…. It was pretty damned impressive though!

 

June 4, 2008 Posted by | glow, ICT, learning | , , , , | Leave a comment

More SLC CPD Glow

Jim Reid has been telling me more about the roll out of Glow in SLC. The advisory service manager May Boyd has been demonstrating the use of the SLC CPD Glow Group to SLC CPD Coordinators at their CPD Coordinator meetings. He also tells me Margaret Tracey and Stephanie Farquharson were also part of the team who constructed the Glow group. This is going to be a fantastic collaborative site as people begin to use it across the authority. The SLC glow roll out team are taking a very sensible, measured approach to the roll out of groups – trying out big hitters which can be seen to be useful. This steady drip is showing through as I meet HTs who are in the middle of writing their improvement plans. They too are speaking about a measured approach to rolling this out – getting it right bit by bit and building capacity amongst staff that way rather than a big bang approach.

May 8, 2008 Posted by | glow, ICT | , , , | 2 Comments

Herald on Glow

Glow is getting lots of write ups, including this piece in the Glasgow Herald.

May 3, 2008 Posted by | glow, ICT | , , , | Leave a comment

CPD SLC

A new glow group is now up and running which Con Morris from LTS has been working on with Jim Reid and May Boyd from SLC. It’s looking good, and as it takes off will become a useful place for sharing practice and CPD experiences.

Thanks to help from Caroline I’ve managed to embed some video in the area glow group and Jaye helped with setting up a calendar. I’m all pleased with doing this! This is a glow drop which might be useful for those now moving forward with glow – lots of links to what’s being said

It’s a long weekend and I’m glad of some time to gather my thoughts. A couple of those HMIe boxes have landed in our schools over the past weeks and I’m sure the staff there are even more glad of the time off.

Karl Fischer mentioned Darren Draper’s site and I found his sharing of this bit from Carl Glickman’s book thought provoking. I have to agree this should be compulsory reading for all us teachers!

May 3, 2008 Posted by | education, glow, ICT, learning, teaching | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Joining Glow Groups

I was very excited today as I’ve joined a few very useful glow groups. I found the web parts workshop, the glowing potential group and an interdisciplinary group. As I’ve said before I’ve set up an area glow group for the Rutherglen/Cambuslang area which I hope will be a good central resource for all the staff in our area – from support staff to class teachers to managers. I didn’t go to any training but had a wee half hour or so with a glow mentor and so I’ve just been playing with it and working it out as I go along. I can’t say I’m a fabulous ICT expert so if I can do this anyone can! I’m really delighted to see this starting to roll out and it’s all working! Was also playing today with the national content and there’s so much great stuff there already. This is real genie out the bag time and he’s not going back in I’m pleased to say! I sent a web link to one of the HTs I work with today and she e-mailed me back and said she’d saved it into her own glow page. This sounds a little thing but I think its a huge step, as people at all levels are starting to see the uses and beginning to use glow. So tomorrow’s job is to work out how to put up the annual calendar for the area. So far I’ve managed to get most things going, and as I revisit the group I’m making I see a little bit more potential each time. When I show it to other people it’s fantastic as you watch people start to click as they see what it can do and could do for them in the future.

May 1, 2008 Posted by | ICT | , | 3 Comments

A good day

I attended the SLC HT curriculum conference today for the morning. There was a wonderful display of good practice stalls set up for us to visit, highlighting good practice from across the authority. Lots to see and I heard someone say she wished she wasn’t retiring soon as it’s such an exciting time to be involved in teaching and she’d love to be just starting out! Says it all really.

There was also a section on Glow – where we are, examples of good practice in our schools and where we might go next. In the primary section a teacher from Woodside and Caroline from Castlefield gave presentations with some of the pupils from their classes. I felt like Caroline’s Mum watching her up there, I was pretting much bursting with pride. Their input and that of the children let people really see what a useful tool it is for learning and teaching. Some of the pupils from my previous school of Castlefield made me laugh with their insightful remarks. There are no flies on them, as it were, when making truthful comments, and if they didn’t find Glow useful we’d have known about it! Feedback from the secondary input from Jaye was also very good and I spotted her pupils outside looking pretty proud of themselves afterwards.

Later I went for my coaching session. I was looking out the window, near the lift in the faculty of education, off Woodlands Road, waiting on my coach to retrieve his car keys. I became aware of the lift doors banging open and shut, as I must have been making them open automatically from where I was standing, and within a man desperately pressing buttons. Anyway keeking in, who did I spy but Jack McConnell. Not one to miss an opportunity….Malawi – the very man – I thought -as I thrust my arm into the lift to stop him escaping. So he’s now more aware of the Duncanrig Learning Community Rich Task linked to Malawi…. He’d previously taken the time to send a letter to one of the classes involved (at Southpark Primary, I think). I did notice my coach’s shoulders jiggling in the corner of the lift as he hooted about my brass neck and cheek! Anyway  my main, very politically incorrect observation, is that in close up view he is much more handsome than he is on the telly!

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Coaching, ICT, Rich tasks | , , , , | 1 Comment

HT Conference

There’s to be a Glow section next week at the HT conference in SLC. It’ll a great opportunity for everyone to find out more about the practice already going on in early adopter schools. I know Caroline and Jaye are both presenting and I think they may be bringing some of the young people involved who will really spread the message about how useful they are finding using Glow. It’s only useful if it is impacting positively on learning and teaching and I’m sure that the enthusiasm of these two will show just how helpful a tool they are finding Glow. As Glow rolls out it’s important that the mystique which at times has grown around it is taken away and it can be seen to be an easy to use tool, which can save time for teachers and make it easier to teach! I know having seen both these practitioners using Glow the impact it has had on attitudes to learning within their classes when in use – impacting on pupil collaborative work, active learning and depth of learning. And that sounds very like what we’re trying to do through CfE!  I’m looking forward to  seeing their presentations next week.

April 27, 2008 Posted by | ICT, learning | | 1 Comment

Loose Coupling

I hadn’t read Elmore’s “Building a New Structure For School Leadership”, 2000 for a while. It’s easy to download a copy of this online. I went back to this recently as I’m increasingly dwelling on just how to improve learning and teaching in my role as a QIO – my main role is supporting schools on the quality improvement agenda so unlike some QIOs I do not have a wide curricular remit in addition. This frees me up to really concentrate on this one area. Anyway the simplicity of his argument had a big effect on me when I first read it and still does as I revisit it.

For anyone who hasn’t read this its well worth a look or another read as whether you agree with what he says or not, there’s a lot for reflection in it, on how we really make concrete improvements to learning and teaching within the classroom.

Delighted to see what Caroline and Jaye have been saying about their Glow days at Stirling management centre – sharing success and making connections. It sounds like they’ve had a useful couple of days. And I like their animoto slides from it too!

April 24, 2008 Posted by | ICT, leadership, learning | , , | 3 Comments

Glow

Still enjoying playing with my glow area group. It’s for the Cambuslang/Rutherglen area and I hope that it will become a useful place over time for all the services supporting education within the area. At the moment I’m building up documents which staff can access, news about the area, surveys and discussions linked to the area. In the future it will hopefully become something which saves us all time – for instance writing the improvement plan for the learning community could become easier using glow meet in the future using the whiteboard and the chat facility – nice as it might be to have a video link that wouldn’t be needed for this kind of thing. I’ve read lots of comments from various people recently about better VLEs however I think the joy of glow is that everything is in the one place for educators and fairly simple to use, which may make it more likely to be taken on by a higher percentage of staff as a useful tool.

Lots of work to be done slowly rolling this out to all those within the learning community. Glow mentors etc will be able to access this and use it in different ways very quickly but to become embedded it needs staff across the piece believing that its useful to their learning and teaching.

April 9, 2008 Posted by | glow, ICT | | Leave a comment